Thursday, October 21, 2010

Twenty Boy Summer

Great teen romance.  This is definitely for high school level -- there isn't any blatant sex, but the subject matter is more mature.  Brother and sister, Matt and Frankie, and their neighbor Anna have been best friends since they were small children.  But as teenagers, Matt and Anna begin to feel more for each other. *slight spoiler* As their relationship develops they try to determine how best to tell Frankie.  Before they can, tragedy strikes.  Matt dies from a congenital heart disease.

Fast forward over one year, and Frankie and Anna are going with Frankie's parents to the annual beach vacation in California.  They make a pact to meet twenty boys during their three-week trip.  But that's not really what the book is about.  Yes, there is a certain quest for sex, but there's much more to this book.  It isn't really light-hearted.   There's a lot of baggage between these two teens.  Frankie still doesn't know about Anna and Matt's relationship, and it has caused a rift.  Anna's parents are still having difficulty with their loss and helping Frankie to deal with her loss.  There is a lot of growing up to be done and hopefully some healing during this summer vacation.

This is a very satisfying book.  The author does a good job of describing these complicated feelings.  Anna doesn't know how to feel about losing Matt.  Were they in love?  Is it OK to "forget" and move on?  Losing someone at this point in a relationship is very difficult to deal with.  The main goal of the book is to get the main characters through this difficult time in their lives, and I think Sarah Ockler has done a great job.  I would recommend this book to high school romance fans.

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